Review: MD Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel

By Voxy  

md skincare alpha beta peel pack 2After intensive deliberation, I’ve concluded that this is my second favorite skincare product to date.

(Of course, I haven’t tried them all yet.)

Exfoliation of old and dead skin cells is a necessary part of maintaining both beautiful skin and healthy skin. Topical products, and the antioxidants or other skin-helping ingredients they may contain, are absorbed better when they don’t have to push their way through dead cells that are just hanging around cluttering up the place. Exfoliation is also thought to have a role in encouraging the body to produce collagen, which is one of the magical substances that keeps skin firm, plump, and healthy. Exfoliation can happen either mechanically (via scrubs or a washcloth; this is the subject of a future post) or chemically, through the application of alpha-, beta-, or poly-hydroxy acids to the skin.

The MD Skincare Alpha Beta “Daily” Face Peel is a two-step process that takes less than five minutes from start to finish. I put “daily” in quotes because really I just cannot see using this every day. There must be some people out there who can, but not I.

The peel is available in two kinds of packaging. What’s shown above is a one-serving packet (excuse me: “packette,” as per the MD Skincare site) from the travel pack; the regular, sit-at-home-on-your-counter pack is composed of two jars, one each of Step One and Step Two. Inside the jars are round pads, infused with the appropriate product. If you are looking to buy in quantity, you get more product for your buck with the regular, non-travel version, but since I tend to go through these slowly, I buy the travel pack because they’re each individually sealed in packaging and they don’t dry out. No sense buying a ton of expensive product and then having to throw half of it away. Also, um, they’re convenient for travel.

These are super-easy to use. After cleansing and patting dry your face, open Envelope (or Jar) #1. Inside there is basically a Wet-Nap soaked in an alpha/beta acid solution. (alpha: glycolic, malic, & lactic acid; beta: salicylic acid). Gently swipe the wet-nap over your face, avoiding the eye and lip areas. (I’ve accidentally swiped some near — not in, but near — my eye and it’s been just fine.) You are supposed to keep swiping until the pad feels dry. This takes quite a long time, however, as it seems to get down to a certain level of “moist” and then sit there. So when I feel I’ve swiped at my face enough, I use the pads on the backs of my upper arms and my elbows, where I get dry skin and a few annoying clogged pores (not keratosis pilaris, but just an occasional whitehead). The skin on my elbows and upper arms has improved incredibly as a result of this.

Wait two minutes. This means you can listen to Chopin’s “Minute Waltz” twice, or sing “Happy Birthday” about 12 times.

After the two minutes are up, use the pad in Envelope #2. This pad neutralizes the acid; although this is not as strong as a peel you might have at a doctor’s office, the neutralizer is still a nice touch. Swipe this everywhere you swiped the first one; you’re supposed to keep applying this one until the pad is dry, too, but I’ve never gotten all the way to “dry.” In addition to the neutralizer solution, this pad contains the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, so you’re applying antioxidants while also neutralizing the peel. Nifty, huh?

Do not rinse your face or use products containing alcohol after application, and you absolutely must be sure to wear a sunscreen, since these treatments make skin even more photosensitive than usual. The neutralizer may leave your face a little tacky (as in “sticky,” not “in bad taste”), but moisturizer and foundation go over it just fine. It really does make my skin glow, and the effect is noticeable for a few days after application. If I have to do any extractions later in the week, it does seem a bit easier (although that might just be me imagining that the BHA has had a good effect so quickly).

I use this about once a week, but am considering going to twice a week as we move into winter. It’s quick, neat, simple, and effective. If you ever get the chance to select this as a free sample when placing an order at Sephora or wherever, definitely take it.


MD Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel: $80 for travel pack at Sephora; if you watch you can sometimes get them for considerably less at SkinStore or at ULTA with the right coupon

Provenance: Purchased (based on the awesomeness of a free sample with other purchase)

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good. If you can use coupon codes and get, say, 20% off, this ratio goes from “good” to “excellent.”

Purchase again? Abso-tively.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Let us know in the comments!)

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